If you’re a Shazam! (formerly known as Captain Marvel) fan, you know a crossover and eventual showdown with his longtime comics archenemy, Black Adam, is inevitable. Considering how much of a success Director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! was when it was released in 2019 and that Dwayne The Rock Johnson had been attached to a Black Adam project as far back as 2014, many fans presumed the two would face off sooner rather than later. Even the titular superhero actor, Zachary Levi, thinks he has a pretty good idea when the two powerhouse characters will come together in Shazam 3. But one person who doesn't seem to have the same idea is the film's director.
Sandberg has actually spoken out on the topic, revealing that he isn’t sure when Shazam! and Black Adam will cross paths. Even more shockingly, the director revealed he hadn't been part of any conversations with DC/Warner Bros. regarding the future collaboration of the two characters, telling Collider:
For the time being, Warner Bros. seems to be attempting to keep the two properties separate and build them up as standalone franchises. Still, Shazam! without Black Adam is a little like Batman without The Joker or Spiderman without The Green Goblin. Though Johnson’s take on Adam seems to be more an antihero than a straight-out villain (which has precedence in the comics), I feel like it would be a missed opportunity not to bring the whirlwinds of charisma that are Zachary Levi and Dwayne Johnson together.
Among the many things we know about Black Adam at this point, the flick is slated to open theatrically on October 21, 2022, while Shazam! Fury of the Gods (and several other planned releases) was delayed yet again as part of Warner Bros shakeups.
With the continuous shake-up of DC movie releases (no shame if you need help keeping the DC movies in order), it makes me wonder if the powers that be at Warner are prioritizing Black Adam because it has The Rock’s star power behind it. Maybe keeping the two properties separate is a way for DC to do a soft reboot of the interconnected films eventually.
I actually hope not because of the DCEU films, Shazam! was one of the most well-received and is one of their few tentpole films that is family-friendly. I sometimes think comic book filmmakers forget they are making movies about characters who fly around in capes, and it's okay to have a little fun. That’s what David F. Sandberg did brilliantly with Shazam!--he made a fun movie. I would hate for such an entertaining world to be thrown out so easily.
Let’s hope whether Shazam! and Black Adam square off anytime soon, the fun world Sandberg and his team have built is here to stay for some time. Shazam! can be streamed now with an HBO Max subscription.
Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.
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